Big wins for Nottinghamshire and Lancashire
Nottinghamshire came within a whisker of last year's Championship title before falling at the last, but laid down their maker as serious challengers again with an innings-and-five run victory against struggling Worcestershire at Trent Bridge. The visitors were already three down in the follow-on overnight and the situation didn't improve when Ben Smith played on against Andre Adams having been dropped twice in the slip. Stuart Broad claimed two before lunch, getting one to climb on Steven Davies then pinning Gareth Batty leg-before to put Nottinghamshire on the brink. Ashley Noffke hung around for an hour until Samit Patel struck and Vikram Solanki, who top-scored with 64, drove a catch to mid-off. For Worcestershire it was another humbling defeat after their heavy loss to Hampshire last week and life in the top division is not looking too easy at the moment.
Lancashire sped to an impressive eight-wicket victory on the final day against Sussex at Hove, inspired by James Anderson's career-best 11-wicket match haul, a fine display from Gary Keedy and an unbeaten 91 by Ashwell Prince. Anderson and Keedy shared all the second-innings scalps as Sussex collapsed during the morning session, losing their last five wickets for 17 runs, to leave Lancashire need 158 for victory. Anderson's outstanding game continued as he removed Luke Wright with his first ball of the day, soon followed by Tom Smith - caught at first slip - and Robin Martin-Jenkins. Keedy then ended the innings swiftly with two catches at silly point by Mark Chilton, but the clatter of wickets hadn't quite finished. Corey Collymore snared both Lancashire openers quickly to give the home side a sniff although the hope didn't last long. After a careful start Prince, accompanied by Francois du Plessis, closed the door on Sussex in increasingly positive style. Peter Moores couldn't have dreamt of a better return to Hove.
For a full report of Durham against Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street where the visitors have been left a stiff target click here.
For a full report of Warwickshire's game against Hampshire at Edgbaston where Jim Troughton and Tim Ambrose re-wrote the record books click here.
Half-centuries from Steve Stubbings and Garry Park put Derbyshire on course for victory against Surrey at Derby as they reached 145 for 2 and need another 73 on the final day. Stubbings and Park added 89 for the first wicket until Park was trapped lbw by Pedro Collins, but it was a significant dent in the target and Stubbings remained unbeaten on 66 at the close. Derbyshire's bowlers had chipped away at Surrey's second innings as the final six wickets could only add 105. The key wicket was that of Usman Afzaal, who was foxed by an excellent slower ball from Jonathan Clare shortly after passing his fifty. At 276 for 7 the lead was only 133, but Chris Schofield and James Benning managed to push it past 200 only for Park's medium pace to be the unlikely source of the final two wickets.
For a full report from Middlesex and Glamorgan at Lord's late wickets gave Middlesex the chance of a final-day run chase click here.